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Lupus Research Update: 2013 Volume 3

Volume 3, 2013 | In This Issue


An Innovative Approach to Lupus Research >
Exploring Drugs Already in Existence >
Predicting and Developing Treatment Pathways For Lupus Nephritis >
Overcoming Personal Pain to Help Others with Lupus >
Two Doctors Receive Awards for Excellence >
Lupus News Corner >

Overcoming Personal Pain to Help Others with Lupus

Leah Crocker is someone with boundless energy and enthusiasm — despite having to overcome hurdles that would daunt even the most fearless person.

Diagnosed with lupus in 2000, Leah has experienced many scary and life-altering episodes. Most dramatic is that Leah also developed Raynaud’s disease.

In Raynaud’s, cold temperatures cause blood spasms that block blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears, and nose.

What began as a pinpoint black dot on one of Leah’s fingers became a source of excruciating pain. “One doctor said my only choice was amputation and I was ready to do anything to stop the pain,” Leah shared.

Something told her to hold off. Another doctor suggested chemotherapy and after two years of treatment, he saved her fingers. “They don’t feel like fingers, but they look like them!” joked Leah.

Lupus threw her this curve ball just as she was finishing up an advanced degree in education. Her doctors warned that with a compromised immune system, she shouldn’t be exposed to so many children and potential pathogens.

So Leah put her energy into another lifelong passion: fitness. In many ways, staying physically fit as a trainer and instructor has helped keep her lupus in check.

And she had to make other sacrifices. Because New Jersey winters presented too many dangers, Leah had to pack up her son and daughter and move to Atlanta.

But Leah is a force to be reckoned with and that’s great for the ALR. She has been leading Leah’s Life Savers in Walk with Us to Cure Lupus events since 2004 — first in New Jersey and now in the Atlanta area.

Leah takes a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to her health. Her approach is direct and maybe that’s why she and the ALR are such a perfect fit: “The ALR is doing great things. They’ve come up with options in the drug pipeline.”

When asked about her fundraising success, this go-getter said: “My friends and my family give because they want to see me — and other people living with lupus — better. I make it very clear that 100% of their donations go to research to help everyone who has lupus.”


1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

100 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Alliance for Lupus Research.


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